February 26, 2013
We frequently feature articles in this space, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, detailing the wretched excess of the Too Big To Fail and Too Big To Jail financial institutions. But the Bank of Zachary does more than just complain. Through our community bank trade association, we actively advocate for common sense regulation that will allow us to compete with any size institution.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today launched the Plan for Prosperity, its policy platform for the 113th Congress that will promote a regulatory environment in which community banks like Bank of Zachary can lend more robustly to local small businesses and residents—helping our communities to grow and thrive. As a flexible set of legislative priorities designed to support congressional advancement, the Plan for Prosperity offers detailed policies to ease excessive, redundant and costly regulations and help community banks dedicate more of their resources to promoting economic growth.“By relieving the nation’s community banks and the communities they serve from crippling regulatory burdens, Congress would be making a historic step in rebuilding America’s economy one community at time,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “ICBA’s Plan for Prosperity offers targeted and common-sense regulatory relief that will allow community banks to do what they do best—help their communities thrive. Reducing unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations is a smart and cost-free way to boost economic activity and job growth across the nation.”
ICBA’s multi-pronged Plan for Prosperity is designed to reduce excessive regulation while supporting greater regulatory accountability. The Plan for Prosperity is not a single bill, but a flexible, living document that can be quickly adopted as legislation. It is designed to maximize bipartisan support in Congress and adaptability to the rapidly changing congressional and regulatory environments. Among its provisions, the Plan for Prosperity would:
- Exempt community banks from certain mortgage reforms to support the housing recovery
- Reduce annual privacy notice redundancies to cut paperwork
- Ease municipal advisor registration burdens to help serve local governments
- Strengthen the industry’s voice with an assistant Treasury secretary for community banks
- Reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ensure more balanced regulation
- Require rigorous and quantitative justification of new rules
- Support additional capital for small bank holding companies
- Cut the red tape in small-business lending
- Facilitate capital formation by reforming Subchapter S corporation regulations and extending the net-operating-loss carry-back
The steady piling on of more and more regulations over many decades has become a growing threat to community banks and the communities they serve. Regulation has a disproportionate cost to community banks because they lack the scale and resources to absorb the associated compliance costs. The ICBA Plan for Prosperity helps provide appropriate tiering of regulation and relief for smaller, low-risk institutions so they can better serve their communities.
For more information about community banks and the regulatory burdens they face, visit www.icba.org.